Today, I began delving into Jordan Peterson's Past Authoring piece of his overall "Self Authoring Program". While it's appearance and language is very clinical, which shouldn't be surprising for something created by a Clinical Psychologist, it represents a deep dive into your past; which as you can imagine is deeply emotional.
You begin first by dividing your life thus far into six epochs or time periods. This in itself, if done honestly, is quite an exercise. It's much easier said than done. Instantly, ti also lets you know that any attempt to craft a narrative from your own set of experiences won't work at this point. You must simply give in and be completely honest about the process.
For me, I had to delve into each part of myself - my own failings, my own overreaches, my mistakes, my transgressions (both confessed and yet to be confessed), my relationship with my own sexuality, love, and so on. From early in the process, something that was said struck me. (And I'm paraphrasing here) "If you have been often thinking about an emotional experience that is over 1 1/2 years old, than you are still holding onto baggage. You haven't let go of it."
This was a powerful thing to read for me, because there are many things from my past that haunt me deeply. For reasons both in my control and not in my control, there are ghosts I hope to forever escape and which I hope never find me. Then again, I think most of us have those in some respect. Forgive me for being a self centered...it's been a very self centered day..on purpose.
From the breaking our lives into six epochs, we then went into defining up to six events that defined each of those epochs for us. For me, who always views himself through a negative lens, this was very difficult. I had to remind myself to include my good deeds and my accomplishments, which I so willingly minimized.
I went through my childhood, from my earliest memories, through cancer, to middle school, high school, film school, and beyond. I traveled through my failed marriage and often shuddered thinking about revisiting those times again.
But, here I am..after nearly a full day of this..I'm still not done with Past Authoring. There is still a bit to go. In accordance with Jordan Peterson's instruction, I entered a type of reverie, allowing the past to visit me as if in a dream, as thin vapors of the past entering my room.
Now that the ghosts have been summoned, I can't wait to learn what exactly I should do with them..they're taking up valuable living space...and I'm pretty sure their already getting into the food...